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Discuss the character of Achilles in Homers Hiad - Essay Example

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Achilles, king of Myrmidons and the valiant hero of Iliad, is one of the most illustrious characters in this epical saga, whose influence has finally determined the fate of the Greeks in the war. Considered by many as an impulsive person, Achilles is both courageous and wise but…
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Discuss the character of Achilles in Homers Hiad
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"Discuss the character of Achilles in Homers Hiad"

Download file to see previous pages Thus, Achilles can be seen as suffering an existential crisis in which he has to fight for glory, which his ultimate pursuit in life, and he knows his quest will cost him his life.
A born soldier adept in the art of killing, Achilles also wants to pursue glory, like many other Greek heroes. This perception of the virtue of life takes him to Troy, to fight one of the most significant wars in human history. It becomes relevant here that before coming to Troy his mother, the sea-nymph goddess Thetis has warned him that he will die in the war. An ordinary human may have been intimidated by this situation, but Achilles decides to continue the pursuit of glory rather than avoid his death. The basic problem of his existential crisis stem from this decision and defiant nature that does not want to cringe at the dictates of the gods or the designs of fate. Thus, as befitting a hero of immaculate courage, Achilles leads his men to the battle and fights it with valor, driven by his quest for glory.
The usual heroes one encounters in epical stories are God-fearing men, who acquiesce to the dictates of fate and the gods. However, Achilles seems to a person who rather will pursue the glory that belongs to heroes, who do what they must do to attain it, irrespective of what the gods have decided as his fate. Similarly, he does not acquiesce blindly to his leader but revolts when Agamemnon bruises his honor by taking his prize, Briseis. This makes him a character that has both positive and negative traits that mark the nature of normal humans as opposed to legendary heroes. Similarly, he defiles the dead body of Hector as an act of vengeance for killing his most beloved person, Patroclus. Usual heroes, considered as kind and forgiving, do not display such traits and, thereby, Iliad portrays Achilles as the first true individual who has both problematic characteristics.
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